Project FUNDway showcases future of DC Fashion

December 7, 2009

I had the esteemed privilege to serve as a judge last week for the Project FUNDway Fashion Show Scholarship competition at McKinley Technology High School. I witnessed the future of fashion as three college freshmen with the high aspirations of becoming fashion designers competed for the chance to win a $5000 fashion scholarship.

The event was hosted by the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce, Washington metropolitan area’s premiere non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the fashion industry in the area. Under the helm of Maggy Francois and Christine Brooks-Cropper, GWFCC has been instrumental in putting fashion in Washington in the spotlight. Funded by the District of Columbia government, GWFCC seeks to show young people in our area that we are not just a city of suits and politics; that a fashion career can be possible in the District.

I, along with some prominent fashion industry professionals in the area, reviewed the collection of the three students and scored their designs on originality, construction of the garment, cohesiveness of the mini collection and overall goals.

The judges included Kustom Look Clothiers Kwab Asamoah, The Glamazon Diaries’ Makeda Saggau-Sackey (me), Evelyn Brooks Jewelry’s Evelyn Brooks, American Marketing Association’s Maurisa Potts, Fashion Washington’s Jennifer Barger, WUSA 9’s Angie Goff, Virginia Commonwealth University Fashion Design & Merchandising’s Linda Lee, Fashion Institute of Technology grad and up and coming designer Tashia Senn, who debuted her first collection in October and Duke Ellington High School’s Beverly Johnson with the three finalists: Samuel Mintah, Drexel University’s Abegbemisola Ademisoye and Savannah College of Art & Design’s Michael Edwards.

The winning designer was Abegbemisola Ademisoye, who designed an impeccable collection inspired by industrial feminist. Citing Lady Gaga and Rihanna as two of her favorite femme fatales, Ade, as she is affectionately know as, created a cohesive collection so wearable that each judge wanted to snatch her collection right off the runway. Using hardware like chains, screws and spikes, she created rocker chic headbands that Lady Gaga and Rihanna would love to wear. She revamped the LBD into an LPD, Little Pink Dress, with a bad-ass chain to cinch the waist. As the queen of headbands, I wanted to snatch all the headbands from the collection to make them part of my wardrobe.

I wish there was enough scholarship money for the other two students who made some fabulous clothes as well. I fell in love with Michael’s metallic yellow bubble skirt inspired by Beauty & the Beast and loved Samuel’s knitwear, which reminded me of St. John pieces. With knits being one of the most difficult fabrics to sew, I was impressed with the craftsmanship of Samuel’s collection.

We also got the chance to preview some established and budding designer collections. I fell in love with Tashia Senn’s collection, which debuted in October in Washington. Tashia is a graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology. As a Washingtonian, she decided to come back to the city she loves to start her collection of cocktail and evening dresses that I can see Michelle Obama wearing. Her frocks and jumpsuits are so chic that I was begging her to make me some clothes. In the next week or so, I will be interviewing Tashia and giving you a glimpse at her collection. Until then, you can check her out at

You can check out the slide show of the event with all the collections from each student, plus a special exhibition of clothing and accessories from Kwab Assamoah, Kustom Look Clothiers and Evelyn Brooks:

Thanks to Vithaya Photography for the fabulous photos.

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